Friday, March 22, 2013

Three Cheers for "Trickle-Down!"

Are you tired of hearing any policy that may benefit "the rich" derided as "trickle-down?" So am I, so I responded to a NJ Star-Ledger editorial (Sticking to the Republican Playbook) criticizing Ohio Governor' John Kasich's tax program, which included this gem:

Under Kasich’s plan, the rich save $10,000 a year. The bottom 60 percent, instead, pay more. The trickle-down temptation that Republicans cannot resist, despite its failed history.

I left these comments:

I don't know much about it, but if Kasich's plan is really to cut taxes on some, and raise them on others, then I would oppose it. He should cut taxes on everyone, in proportion to taxes paid.  
That aside, I have to laugh at the characterization of "tax cuts for the rich" as "trickle-down...despite its failed history." There are none so blind as the self-blinded.  
Anti-capitalists love to ridicule free market policies as “trickle-down,” But here’s another question: How much of what you buy with your money did you produce yourself? Look around you. Everything your money can buy is provided by someone else’s productive intellectual and physical work, investments, and pursuit of money and profit. If you think that flood of wealth is a “trickle,” then try putting your money under a mattress, stop spending, and see where your life goes without it. And while you’re at it, quit that job that someone else provided, since you’ll no longer need the money.  
To make money is to provide a value to someone else in a voluntary, win-win transaction called trade. Those who are the best at it provide a lot of valuable products or services to a lot of people--and earn a lot of money in the process. The money a person makes is a measure of the extent to which he enriched others' lives. Trickle-down? It's a torrent.  
Reducing the tax burden on the most productive harms no one other than big government apologists and the sensibilities of the envious. The benefits to all levels of society provided by the fortune-builders, in contrast, are all around us. It is in every rational person's economic self-interest, especially the poor, to remove the tax disincentives and regulatory roadblocks to fortune-building. We should cheer the productive rich, and hope for many more of them.

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